Which of these British foods should this American try first?

(440 Posts)

My little Texan village grocery has expanded and is trying to be very posh all of a sudden (which is a change from the standard Velveeta and Hamburger Helper choices) and has put in a British section of food! Imagine my shock to find some of the things you talk about in my own store here. It's quite pricy as it's all imported, so I want to try just one or two things at a time. Here's what they have to offer:

HP Brown Sauce and Fruity Sauce
Branston Pickle
Marmite
Heinz Baked Beans (apparently different than ours?)
Blackcurrant jam
Galaxy bars
Bounty bars
Bird's Custard
Bisto granules
Robinsons barley water

Think there are more but can't remember. Of these, what should I try?

Oh, almost forgot the Heinz Spotted Dick. It's creating hilarity/shock throught the town grin

No dark marmalade. Only Smuckers Sweet Orange: smuckers

Bacon I can't answer for, as I only know what is available to me.

As for tea, I forgot to mention that they have gotten PG Tips tea. Also have always had Twinings.

Corporalcornsilk Sun 06-Sep-09 17:38:56

galaxy and bounty mmmmm

GrimmaTheNome Sun 06-Sep-09 17:39:30

£7 for marmite shock

Though one jar will probably last you for an awfully long time. You really do need to use seriously little - less than 1/2 tsp a slice I'd say.

PestoSurfMonster Sun 06-Sep-09 17:40:43

Go on, try the marmite and report back to us!

AvadaKedavra Sun 06-Sep-09 17:42:39

You use so little Marmite for each application though, it'd last a long while (assuming you liked it that is!)

No you don't dip Galaxy into tea - well am sure someone somewhere may but...

Contents of Branston pickle is ummmm... carrots I think? Swede maybe? <confesses she doesn't really have a scooby!!>

GrimmaTheNome Sun 06-Sep-09 17:44:02

Mayhaw jelly...ok, so that'll be some sort of US hawthorn? Hawthorn jelly does exist in the UK but its used as an sauce for game not as a jam on bread. I've not had it, did once have rowanberry jelly which was nice but this is getting a bit to esoteric even for The Best Little Storehouse in Texas grin

GrimmaTheNome Sun 06-Sep-09 17:45:25

The marmite would last even longer if you don't like it! Keeps indefinitely because its so salty.

AvadaKedavra Sun 06-Sep-09 17:45:30
cariboo Sun 06-Sep-09 17:45:44

okay, here's my choice: make yourself a cheddar cheese & branston pickle sarnie, using 2 slices of wonderbread or whatever it's called these days. Gorgeous! forget the HP sauce, custard & barley water. Bisto v. useful for shepherd's pie, spag bol & other recipes requiring meat-based gravy.

differentID Sun 06-Sep-09 17:46:00

Branston pickle

Perfect with cheddar cheese and thick white bread.

5inthebed Sun 06-Sep-09 17:49:54

£7 for Marmite! Good grief! Fenwick are selling American foodstuffs, and they have Lucky charms for £7, not sure what the american equivelent is though.

I would have:

Toast with thick butter and thinly spread marmite, topped with hot Heinz beans and grated cheddar cheese. Followed by spotted dick and custard. <raids cupboards to see if I have any of the above>

ShowOfHands Sun 06-Sep-09 17:50:47

Do you not eat custard or gravy in the States? It's easy enough to just make your own tbh.

Mmm custard.

GrimmaTheNome Sun 06-Sep-09 17:51:29

You have to have the custard if you want the Spotted Dick.

I would say for niceness have some galaxy chocolate.

For excitement go for the marmite (lots of butter, very small amounts of marmite) on toast.

Branston is sandiwch pickle, it's a mixture of all sorts of things: "a variety of diced vegetables, including swede, carrots, onions, cauliflower and gherkins pickled in a sauce made from vinegar, tomato, apple and dates with spices such as mustard, coriander, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cayenne pepper with sugar."

(Swede is rutabaga I believe, gherkins are the green things that might just be called 'pickles' in your tongue)

HP sauce is good for chips, but you probably have a big range of ketchup/BBQ sauce and similar so it's won't be amazingly novel.

Oh remind me not to live in the USA i couldn't live without Galaxy and Marmite and Pickle and Bounty and oh god well everything on that list really! grin

They have different gravy in the US, and IMO Bisto is nicer than any 'meat juices and cornflour' type gravy anyway.

NoahFence Sun 06-Sep-09 17:57:58

bollocks
bisto is vile

Mumcentreplus Sun 06-Sep-09 17:58:10

Beans on Toast!grin.sprinkle some cheddar on top for extra Yum Factor

I love Bisto.

Mumcentreplus Sun 06-Sep-09 17:58:52

I prefer OXO

GrimmaTheNome Sun 06-Sep-09 18:00:36

I always used to be puzzled by the ingredients list on HP sauce when I was a kid as it included 'rutabaga' - which is a term I've never heard in the UK. In fact I think I've only ever heard it on a Winnie the Pooh cartoon, being grown by Rabbit. Odd, that. Maybe they sold it abroad and thought that 'swede' might inhibit sales in Nordic lands.

colditz Sun 06-Sep-09 18:01:33

Winnie the pooh cartoons are american.

hocuspontas Sun 06-Sep-09 18:03:48

Do not let gravy granules near your food. It will taint it forever. Eurgh.

GrimmaTheNome Sun 06-Sep-09 18:03:56

Yes I know, thats why Rabbit uses the word. AA Milnes rabbit never would have!

So what was it doing on HP sauce, the most British condiment imaginable?

nooka Sun 06-Sep-09 18:08:17

The only thing that I missed in the States was blackcurrent jam (in fact good jam that wasn't Strawberry or Raspberry really). So I would buy the jam as a treat for me and me alone...

Bisto, Bird's Custard and tinned puddings are IMO not very nice convenience goods widely eaten in the UK. If you want to taste a bit of English bad cooking, then go for it, but on the whole I think they principally remind people of childhood and school dinners.

The sauces and beans you can find US equivalents, so their novelty value will be less.

The chocolate is quite funny as they are both made by an American manufacturer, just to a European spec. There are nice chocolates you can get in the States (NOT Hersheys mind) but I'm not too sure I would bother unless you are a chocolate officianado.

So that leaves Robinsons, Branston and Marmite all of which are very English and quite unlike stuff you can probably get. Personally I don't really like Branstons (I prefer Piccalilli, another weird English pickle!). Marmite is interesting, and lasts for ages, but you sure are being charged a premium (btw if you have any Aussie stores it is pretty much the same thing as Vegemite). Robinsons's is sort of posh by association (Wimbledon etc) and makes a nice drink. Where we lived in the States you couldn't really buy any cordials/squashes (only the powdered stuff which IMO is disgusting), so I missed that too, but you can make good orange/lemon cordials relatively easily at home I have discovered.

So I'd go for jam and Marmite I guess for taste, and the custard / tinned puddings for the experience!

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